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How to Set Goals like John Kennedy

moon_footprint"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." ~ Neil Armstrong

Today we’re celebrating one of the biggest successes of all time. Forty years ago today, on July 20, 1969, three men – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins – landed a spacecraft on the moon for the first time.

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They had launched their mission 4 days earlier, flying 203,000 miles to get there.

About six-and-a-half hours after they landed, with one-sixth of the people in the world tuned in to watch, Neil Armstrong descended down the ladder of the lunar space module. As he became the first person to walk on the surface of the moon, he uttered those famous words:

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

We never get tired of hearing those words. It gives us goose bumps. They are so inspiring.

But we have to remember that it didn’t just happen. It began as a bigg goal over eight years before.

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy said:

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” 
 

How to set goals like President Kennedy

President Kennedy’s goal was very well-stated. It was a SMART goal. SMART is an acronym for:

Specific
Measurable
Action-Oriented
Realistic
Time- and Resource-Constrained

Let’s look at each of these five components of a well-stated goal using President Kennedy’s goal as an example.

Specific
President Kennedy said that we were going to do two things:

  • land a man on the moon
  • return him safely to earth

You can’t get much more specific than that. In this case, it may be easier to think about what wouldn’t be specific. He could have said, “We’re going to land a man somewhere in space.” That’s not specific. He clearly articulated the destination.

Measurable
President Kennedy’s goal was clearly measurable. We would certainly know if a man had landed on the moon. We could certainly tell if he returned safely to earth.

Note, though, that landing on the moon and then not being able to get back safely would have meant the goal was not reached.

Let’s bring this point on being measurable safely back to earth. Here’s an example of a goal that is not measurable:

“I’m going to increase my income next year.”

What does that mean? If you increase it by $1, did you really accomplish what you set out to do? A well-stated goal would be:

“I’m going to increase my income by 5% next year.
“I’m going to increase my income by $2,000 next year.”

Now you’ll know if you accomplish what you set out to do.

Action-oriented
When President Kennedy called for this mission to send man to the moon [PDF], he made clear that it would take a tremendous commitment by the entire nation to reach this goal.

He called for innovation. He called for new money. He said it would take a concentrated effort for an extended period of time. But it would get done.

And get done it did. In a similar vein – with our personal goals or the goals we set for our businesses – we must commit to taking the necessary steps to achieve the goal.

Realistic

President Kennedy said, “I believe we have all the resources and talent necessary.” 

Your goals can and should be bigg goals. They should stretch you beyond anything you’ve ever accomplished before. But they have to be realistic.

Otherwise, they don’t lead to bigg success. They only lead to discouragement.

Time- and Resource-constrained

This one’s easy. President Kennedy said we would accomplish this goal by the end of the decade. It was 1961. The goal was reached July 20, 1969.

He made it clear that resources would have to be diverted from other good causes if this goal was to be reached.

When you set your goals, be sure to give yourself a due date. When will you accomplish this goal? What resources will be required to do it? Do you have them?

Goal-setting is not goal-getting

John F. Kennedy was able to reduce all of this into a simple goal statement of 31 powerful words that set this course of events into action.

Because he wasn’t just a bigg goal-setter, he was a bigg goal-getter.

Setting goals is just the first step in that process. We have a great tool – the Bigg Goal-Getter’s Workbook – which takes you through the entire six step process to put goal-setting and goal-getting to work for you. It’s free when you subscribe to our free newsletter, The Bigg Success Weekly

Just one final point:

Good goals have a reason behind them. They serve a bigger purpose. Every goal should lead you closer to the bigg success of which you dream. So we’ll close with John F. Kennedy himself explaining why sending a man to the moon was so important:

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
 

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(Image and quotes in today's post from NASA)

Believing is Seeing – Part 1

vision_boards.jpgWe were thrilled to visit with Christine Kane on The Bigg Success Show today. Christine has sold over 100,000 CDs and her songs have been sung by a number of Nashville stars. She was recently featured in First magazine for her innovative strategies for taking life to the next level. If you listen to the show, you can hear part of her great song, “Right Outta Nowhere.

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georgeWe heard you perform live at SOBCon a couple of years ago and I have to tell you … you rocked the boat!

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christine_kane
Or the boat rocked me!

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georgeIt was a little breezy in the Windy City that night.

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What is a vision board?

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marylynnOne of my favorite girlie magazines is First magazine. So, when I saw your picture in the March 30 issue, I said to George, “Look, Christine is featured.” You were talking about how vision boards have helped you achieve your dreams. So, let’s start with, what is a vision board?

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christine_kaneVision boards got really popular after The Secret. I’ve been doing them forever. In the late 90s, a friend of mine was trying to change her career around. I was trying to uplevel my career in music. So the two of us and another friend did them. I ended up getting the house I put on my vision board. It was completely effortless. Then I noticed that, after my shows, I’d end up having a circle of women, and sometimes men, around me asking how to follow their dreams. So I started doing women’s retreats to answer that call. The first day we work on intention. The second day we look at what blocks our intention – the little patterns that come up. So by now they’re deeply connected with who they are, what they want and all their old patterns. After that, we do vision boards. We just take poster board and a huge stack of magazines – I have hundreds of them at these retreats. They grab photos that speak to them. Sometimes they speak to your soul and you don’t know why. Sometimes they are totally in alignment with what you want, like a new house or a new car. I tell them not to get uptight about it. You tend to know which image is right for you. I don’t give huge instructions because I think our creative side – that’s my songwriter side – knows where you’re going to put those images and how you’re going to lay out that board. I like to have people put a picture of themselves in the middle of it. Then you put that board above the desk in your office, your walk-in closet, in your bedroom behind the door. You just let those images be with you every day. The idea behind it is you’re welcoming in new images from a new paradigm that you want to create. That’s the power of our subconscious. As a creative person who has created a songwriting career out of nothing, I believe in the power of these kinds of tools. I don’t put everything on the idea of a vision board, but it’s one of the many ways that we can create better things in our life.

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Blocking out mental blocks

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marylynnChristine, let me go back to something you said early on – we have those “blocks.” As you were creating your vision board to help you take your career to a new level, what was a block that you recognized and what was something you put on your vision board to get past that block?

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christine_kaneThat’s a really great question. You have to take this to your own career. For my career, there’s a point where every songwriter, artist, or entrepreneur gets to where they have let the original people who showed them the ropes give them all the “here’s how it is in your business” or “here’s the only way you’ll be able to do it.” I had that and a lot of it was very negative. I was playing at bars. Sometimes I was at a festival playing on a rickety stand. I truly had this mindset that it was the best I could get. I was lucky to be an artist. I sat down by myself to do my vision board on New Year’s Day, which I do every year. Now this was not my first vision board; this was when I had been doing them and really got it. I pulled out the image of Celine Dion on stage in Vegas.

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marylynn
That was quite a stage!

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christine_kaneIt didn’t mean that I wanted to be Celine Dion because I don’t. It represented that I wanted to start playing on stages that are substantial, that didn’t smell like spilled beer, that weren’t a pile of wood thrown together for some make-shift festival that someone put on.

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marylynn
That weren’t rocking!

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christine_kaneExactly! If you’ve ever walked backstage at a great theater, you know what it feels like. You feel those spotlights come on. That image of her stage was the center of my vision board. Literally within six months of doing that board, I got an invitation from a ballet company. They had seen me at a showcase and fallen in love with my music. They choreographed a ballet to my songs. They wanted me to tour with them. The tour lasted for three years. From that point, I was on those stages. We were around the country at performing arts centers. Those spotlights. That strong sturdy stage. After that, a lot of the performing arts centers that I went to with the ballet company had me back as a solo artist. So my career literally did a u-turn. I got more money. I really got what it felt like to have imagined that thing on my board. It required that I get really deeply in touch with what that picture represented to me. It wasn’t just, “Hey I want to be Celine Dion and do cool things.” It was, “What does this stage mean to me?” It means no longer saying “yes” to anything that is less than this image. I really got what that felt like inside of my body.

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Don’t know what you want? Do you know what you don’t want?

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georgeThat’s such a great story, Christine. This was part of the article from First magazine. And by the way, may I say that I’m man enough to read Mary-Lynn’s girlie magazine! One of the things that jumped out at me reading that, and now hearing it again, is that sometimes we get to what we want by, first, knowing what we don’t want.

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christine_kaneOh yeah. You know it’s funny – my retreats have become so popular that I created an online course and then it turned into a coaching program called The Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program. It’s a seven-week program. One of the exercises in the first week is about getting in touch with what you want. So many people say they don’t know what they want. So we start with writing down what they don’t want. That is a perfectly valid place to start. That’s what has to start turning around. That awareness that I didn’t want to play at places where people were drinking. That was my first thing.

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Learn more about Christine and download her free vision board e-book by visiting her site, christinekane.com. Also check back tomorrow when Christine tells us about the three kinds of vision boards.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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(Image in today's post from Christine Kane)

The Power of Defining Your Terms

life on your own termsLast time, we discussed a new paradigm for thinking about our lives: you are the entrepreneur in charge of running a very important enterprise – your life.

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Terms can inspire action

Our definition of bigg success – life on your own terms – explicitly recognizes that “terms” are important. Not just words, but words that matter. Words that empower us.

A single term can cut through the complexity of a subject and make it simple to understand. And therein lies the power of terms.

To create understanding and, from that understanding, actions to achieve bigg success.

Life on your own terms. What are those terms for you?

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georgeOne of the terms we use here at Bigg Success is goal-getter. I love that word. It combines go-getter with goal-getting. So it’s a powerful word to me that implies movement toward what I want to achieve.

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Terms can limit us

Like many things, terms can also work against us. They can limit what we achieve.

We can define ourselves too small. We can view our businesses too tightly. We may see our careers too narrowly.

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marylynnFor example, I defined myself for years as a radio DJ. That’s what I was and that’s what I was known as. But when I started using the term “broadcaster”, I could see a bigger picture and new possibilities. I am now a “broadcaster” who happens to use the internet as my medium.

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With terms, we can also magnify our shortcomings and minimize our strengths. It’s so easy to do.

Your terms are unique

Notice that we define bigg success as life on your own terms.

Your terms are not my terms. They are uniquely yours.

Your terms have the power to inspire you to bigg success.

To lift you up when you’re down.

To push you even higher when you’re up.

Terms as time frames

There’s another meaning to the “terms” of life on your own terms. We think of school terms – a semester, for instance.

It’s valuable to think about “terms” in terms of time. In other words, as phases. To achieve the bigg success we dream of, we will set our goals in time frames.

For example, say you want to be the best attorney in your area. That’s your end goal.

In the first term, your goal may be to complete your undergraduate degree.

Term 2 – get your law degree. Term 3 – pass the bar. And so on.

You break up your long-term goal into terms – time frames – to make sure you stay on track to reach bigg success. 

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The terms of the deal

See how rich a single term can be? But we’re not through yet!

There are two primary factors in any deal – the price and the terms. There’s a basic negotiating principle:

You get to pick the price or the terms, but not both.

If you ever get to pick both, you better get a great deal!

Do you see the implication of that principle to bigg success? If you set the terms, bigg success sets the price.

The higher the level of success you seek, the higher the price will be. You must be willing to pay that price or you can’t – you won’t – be able to live your life on your own terms.

There’s a story about an amateur golfer who approached a famous golfer. We believe it was Tom Watson. The story goes something like this …

The amateur said, “I’d give anything to drive a golf ball the way you do.”

Tom Watson said, “No, you wouldn’t.”

The amateur said, “Yes, I would.”

After several more rounds of this, the pro decided to let the amateur in on his secret.

Tom Watson finally said, “I learned to drive the ball the way I do by going to the range every morning and driving a bucket of balls. When that bucket was empty, I drove another one. And another one.”

The pro continued, “I drove balls until I could feel blisters forming on my hands. And do you know what I did then? I kept driving balls. Before long, my hands were bleeding. So I drove another bucket of balls. Day after day, week after week, I drove balls in spite of the pain. Eventually, my hands were full of callouses. That’s how I learned to drive the golf ball the way I do.”

So if you want to drive golf balls like a pro, there’s your price. You set the terms, but then you must pay the price to reach bigg success.

It’s worth it because it’s what you want. By the way, there is also a price to pay for not living your life on your own terms. We think that price is higher!

Share your terms

So what are your terms? What does life on your own terms mean to you?

And what terms inspire you?

You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We want to highlight the members of our community and their stories. In those stories, in our terms, is information and inspiration for all of us. So we all reach bigg success even faster!

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

Join us next time as we continue diving deeper into life on your own terms. We’ll talk about five very special terms – the five elements of bigg success.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success! 

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00358-032509.mp3

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The Bigg Idea Behind Bigg Success

Overstepping Stones

steppingstones We’re sure you’ve heard of stepping stones. Today we want to talk about overstepping stones.

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We’re proud residents of the State of Illinois. We’re dismayed, however, that our great state has been getting some bad press recently because of the actions of our Governor, Rod Blagojevich. While he hasn’t been convicted yet of any wrongdoing, it appears that he’s in deep trouble.

A state of dissatisfaction

It’s rumored that he felt he had reached a stalemate in his career. He wanted to make more money. He even had aspirations of running for President. But even before this scandal broke, his approval rating was incredibly low (the last number we heard was 4%). If you look at the state of our State, you can understand why.

He looked at every opportunity for a stepping stone, which culminated in what appears to be illegal activity. That got us thinking – we all need stepping stones to help us get to the next level of success.

Overstepping the bounds

But there’s a fine line between a stepping stone and what we’ll call an overstepping stone.

We abuse our stepping stones when we overstep our bounds. It appears our Governor did this on at least three levels:

Read more

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3

tribes
On The Bigg Success Show, we’ve been talking with Seth Godin about his incredible new book, Tribes. So far we’ve discussed:

Part I: what a tribe is, what the leader does, and why quality trumps quantity

Part II: why Seth became a leader, the power of one, and the importance of leverage
 
Today we wrap up our conversation. Let’s get to it!

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Change and chaos creates opportunity

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georgeSeth, one of the constants we see in your new book is change. I teach Entrepreneurial Finance at our local university. One of the things we talk about is that entrepreneurship is the science of change. There’s a quote in your new book that I just love, “The rush from stability is a huge opportunity for you.” Change does create opportunity for all of us, especially small business people.

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seth_godinWe can look back, before the Industrial Revolution, to when there was a king so the politics never changed. There was a farm and a craftsman so technology and markets never changed. It was almost impossible to cause your station in life to adjust in your lifetime. When someone would come along, like Josiah Wedgwood, and go from being an itinerant potter to a multi-millionaire, that was a once in a lifetime experience per country. Now it happens weekly. Now we’re seeing that all of the change and chaos creates opportunity. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to see newly minted millionaires all over the world because of this chaos. We’re going to see newly influential musicians because of the meltdown of the music industry. If the music industry had stayed the way it was, the only way that you were going to become popular was by running into Neil Young’s A&R guy and hope he liked you. Now someone like Jen Chapin can come along, become popular, and have a following just because she deserves it, not because of someone she knows.

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You know it don’t come easy

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marylynnIt’s very empowering. When the status quo doesn’t work anymore, it forces you to be innovative. Innovation is exciting and that creates that passion that you talk about that creates that tribe that wants to follow you and talk about you.

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seth_godinThat’s it, but I’m nervous about one thing. We may be fooling people into thinking that this is easy. Just because it’s happening a lot, just because it’s powerful, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Most people who want to make change are fine with that. They’re fine with the fact that’s it going to take time, effort, dedication and risk in order to make this stuff happen. They just want to know it’s possible. And it is possible if you’re willing to do the work. My blog was not popular for years and years and years. As an entrepreneur, I have failed literally dozens of times before I had success. But I knew it was possible. Once I knew it was possible, then it was worth all the effort.

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How Seth picked himself up from failure

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marylynnSee now that’s interesting because you talk about how it failed. How did you pick yourself up from that and not give up?

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seth_godin
I think there are a couple of ways. One is to remind yourself how horrible it is to be a bank teller.

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marylynn
Now wait a minute, there are some bank tellers out there who enjoy what they do.

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seth_godinI think that’s true. But most of them don’t want to be entrepreneurs. If you want to be an entrepreneur – if you want to run your own decision base – then the thought of the alternative helps you focus. But the other thing is, my friend Zig Ziglar has this phrase which is, if he’s only going to succeed one out of ten times, that means every “No” gets him one “No” closer to nine. Nine “No’s” is great because the tenth one is going to be a “Yes.” I felt like, as long as I kept surviving, that was success. Entrepreneurs who survive long enough, sooner or later, are successful.

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george
But also, read The Dip, so you know whether to get out, right?

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seth_godinWhat The Dip would say is you should abandon tactics all the time. A tactic that’s a dead end, that isn’t working and that isn’t helping you be the best in the world, should be abandoned. I would include in that a career choice – like sticking with a particular radio station. That’s a tactic. But a strategy – a strategy that says I’m going to be a successful solo entrepreneur or I am going to make it as a musician – isn’t so easily abandoned. That’s what keeps you pushing through the dip.

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Please stand up

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marylynnBefore we let you go, we have to ask about one more thing. Toward the end of Tribes, you talk about how some people are going to rip on you about the style of this book and the way you’ve written it. George and I absolutely loved it. It’s such an easy read; it flows so nicely. What’s the problem with it?

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seth_godinFirst of all, thank you. That was very nice. The problem with it is I don’t tell you what to do tomorrow. I don’t say, “If you’re a dummy, here are the twelve steps.” I don’t give you a checklist. I don’t give you a list of tactics or tools or copy you can lift and use as your own. Part of the essence of being a leader is that you’re going to have to lead differently than the guy before you. Part of the essence of being a leader is that every tribe demands its own style of leader. No one else can do that. You have to figure it out. That’s frustrating for some people.

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georgeThat’s interesting, Seth, because with my class, I purposefully leave it a little more unstructured than the students would like. The reason I do that is because then they put that structure in place. By doing that, they learn how to be an entrepreneur. It’s helpful I think. With your book, you read it and create those checklists yourself.

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seth_godinI think that’s a great way to look at it. This summer, I had some interns. The way that I ran the application process is that I invited the 160 people who applied to join a Facebook group. Then I didn’t tell them what to do; I just watched. It was really interesting because, of the 160, twenty immediately took charge – planning activities, posting interesting notes, and starting conversations. The remaining 140 waited to be told what to do. And I imagine you can guess who I considered hiring.

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marylynn
The leaders stood up and stood out.

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Thanks so much Seth! It was fantastic talking with you. We wish you bigg success with this great book.

Seth is also the founder of Squidoo, where you can find a special page about Tribes. It’s full of great freebies like podcasts, excerpts and more! We highly recommend Tribes to you!

Next time, we say the less money you have, the better. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00255-103108.mp3

Related posts

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

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Bigg Success Primer

Life on Your Own Terms

Bigg Success is life on your own terms. Listen to these five shows (or read the show summaries) to quickly understand what we mean by that definition.

What is Bigg Success?

Own Your Life

The Power of Defining Your Terms

The 5 Elements of Bigg Success

The Bigg Idea Behind Bigg Success

Announcing  BIGG Success Entreprenurturing™

Our mission is to serve entrepreneurs and the organizations that serve them. this post explains why we feel this is our calling and how we help.

Entreprenurturing™ for the Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster Ride

How about you?

Tell us what “life on your own terms” means to you. What challenges are you facing in trying to live your life on your own terms? We want to highlight your stories and also gear our content to the biggest challenges that the people in the Bigg Success community are facing.

To participate, you can leave a comment on the bottom of any daily post, call us toll-free at 888-455-BIGG, or email us anytime at: bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We look forward to getting to know you! To learn more about us, visit our About page.

Thank you so much for visiting.



Finding Your Self-Confidence Worksheet

By Bigg Success Staff
09-11-08

Life Skills

worksheet 

Improve your self-confidence by identifying your abilities and positive attributes. Complete the following statements to highlight your unique talents.

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What do I do well?

What do I do even better?

What can I do now that I couldn’t do last year?

What have I already accomplished?

What is my greatest professional strength?

What is my greatest individual strength?

Of what am I most proud?

How can I help my colleagues?

How can I help my family and friends?

How can I help my community?

I have the power to

I am not afraid to

I have decided to

I need strength to

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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(Image by lusi)

Knowledge is Worthless

By Bigg Success Staff
08-25-08

Life Changes

knowledge 

We found a great post over at Achievement Radio by Dr. Zonnya. She says that knowledge isn’t power anymore. Instead, it is knowledge applied that makes the difference.

It’s a distinction we all instinctively understand, but sometimes forget. Learning how to do something is only part of the process. We have to continue on and put into practice what we’ve learned or the knowledge is worthless.

If you can take away just one idea from every encounter – be that a speech, a conference, a web site, a conversation – and then actually use it, you’ll be ahead of the game.

So don’t worry about learning everything. Focus on applying one thing you’ve learned!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show

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Get in the Loop to Gain a Competitive Advantage 

(Image by jaylopez)

A Story about 1 Father and His 2 Sons with 3 Lessons for All of Us

By Bigg Success Staff
06-11-08

Life Skills

1-2-3 

There’s an old story about two boys who had a father who was an alcoholic. They grew into young men.

One son became an alcoholic. “What choice do I have?” he said. “My father is an alcoholic.”

The other son never touched a drop of alcohol. “How could I?” he said. “Look what it did to my father.”

From this simple story, we see three lessons:

We are all role models.

Like it or not, other people look at how we behave and model their lives after us. John Wooden, the great basketball coach, wrote a wonderful poem that goes like this:

A careful man I want to be,
A little fellow follows me;
I do not dare to go astray,
For fear he’ll go the self-same way.

It’s something that we need to keep in mind for all the people we care about and influence.

We can learn from others.
It’s much better to learn a lesson from someone else’s experience than to have to experience it ourselves. And that even applies to our parents. They aren’t perfect either. We can look to them for an example – in some cases it may be a positive one; in others it won’t be. Either way, we can take away direction in how to live our lives.

We all have the power to choose.
We don’t always get to choose what happens to us or around us, but we can choose how we respond.  We can’t control the circumstances, but we have total and complete control over our reaction.

These two sons started in the same place, with the same circumstances. However, they chose completely different paths as a result of their situation.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts 

The Single Most Destructive Thought You Can Have

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Where Are You If You Ain’t Where You Are

How to Feel Rich Today 

(Image by canadakick)

Test Your Vocabulary

By Bigg Success Staff
05-30-08

Test Yourself

letters 

A powerful vocabulary is a useful tool in speaking, reading, and writing. Test how extensive your vocabulary with the Make a Word game from NerdTests. You’ll have two minutes to form as many words as possible from nine letters in a 3 x 3 matrix.When you’re finished, you’ll get your score and see what level you’re at. Be careful, though … it’s addicting!

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(Image by Nerdtests.com)